Scotland seems to be experiencing an exciting period of emerging talent at the moment, with a new generation of amazing bands and artists beginning to make waves in the music industry. What makes this even more exciting, though, is that all of these artists are completely different and all doing their own unique thing, while still supporting one another along the way. One of these rising talents is a band called The Vegan Leather.
Armed with a hugely refreshing sound, the band combine a number of genres and influences to create something infectious, fun and impossible not to love. Post-punk guitars are fused with 80’s electronica, with their tight percussion and glittering synths giving them an art-pop vibe that is so wonderfully complemented by Marie Collins’ cooling vocals. There’s a notably modern touch at the same time, with influences from the likes of Metronomy, Warpaint and LCD Soundsystem appearing.
Their debut EP, ‘This House’, was released last year, with brilliant production work from Prides’ Lewis Gardener. It’s eccentric, ambitious and catchy from its first listen.
After playing an early slot at Brew at the Bog, GIGsoup caught up with Gianluca, Matt, Marie and Duncan for a chat about getting selected to play the highly regarded T Break stage at this year’s T in the Park, and other future plans.
First festival of the summer. How’s it going?
Gian: It’s going well, it’s going really good. By the time we arrived from Paisley we were more or less out the car and on stage… which is quite good actually because it’s given us time to chill out.
Have you done Brew at the Bog before?
All: First time!
What about coming up north?
Matt: I think it’s our furthest gig up north!
This is my first time in Inverness!
Gian: I came with my parents when I was a wee boy.. but this is our first time as a band!
Any more festivals lined up for the rest of the year as punters or as a band?
Gian: We’re playing T Break this year!
I saw this! That must be really exciting!
Matt: SO exciting. So so buzzing.
How did that come about then?
Marie: You send three demos in to apply…
Matt: We thought we were in a good enough position to put ourselves forward for it and it’s paid off!
When did you hear?
Gian: About a week before the announcement…about three weeks ago now. I got a phone call in work actually
Marie: Just quit your job instantly!
Gian: I was about to!
Matt: Fuck you dad, I’m doing the music now!
There’s a lot of great bands playing it as well.
Marie: Yeah there’s a lot from Glasgow bands;.
Matt: It’s all our pals as well, It’s great! ….Sweaty Palms, The Ninth Wave, The Lapelles, Declan Welsh…
Yeah I love all those guys!
Matt: Gian recorded Declan Welsh and The Ninth Wave. The Ninth Wave’s EP was recorded and mixed mostly by me and Gian and then sent to Ronan, who plays with Sweaty Palms, who mastered it, and they’re also playing T… it’s weird, it’s like a mix of everyone involved.
How is it playing in Glasgow then? Everyone seems to know and work with each other?
Gian: It’s a very welcoming scene
Marie: It’s not elitist at all
Matt: It’s just like hanging out with your friends!
Gian: Even when we play with bands outside our friend groups, it’s still very welcoming.
Matt: There’s always a helping hand there between all of us, we’re all there for each other
To go back to you guys, how did the Vegan Leather come about?
Gian: It essentially started with me making music myself a few years ago. That was ok, but I thought I needed a band, so got together with my two friends, Matt and Duncan. Duncan and I have been in bands just shy of ten years now and we went on a wee Hit the Road tour, which is a Scottish Music Centre programme, with our old band and then that’s where we met Matthew.
Matt: We hit it right off!
Gian: We started out doing spacy, Warpaint-y kinda stuff and it was good, and we were having fun! But then we started writing more poppy songs so we thought it would be cool to get female vocals involved and stuff. Me and Marie went to school together and we’ve been in bands together so we started doing gigs with her aswell. It’s been like that for about a year and half now!
For those that haven’t heard you, how would you describe your music?
Matt: It’s infused with straight up pop… big pop choruses.
Marie: Yeah, it’s like classic pop writing.
Matt: …with a lot of electronic influences.
Gian: Soulwax influences, later Arcade Fire…
Matt: We’re all massive metalheads aswell! I was really into Metallica and Slayer.
Gian: I was more into Minor Self Indulgence and Bring me the Horizon
Gian: I was a wee scene wean!
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Gian: We’re hopefully gonna have a single out just after T in the Park. We’re headlining King Tut’s as part of the Summer Nights Festival so we’re gonna have it out just before that and then we’ll keep writing. Our plan right now is to gig outwith Glasgow as far as we can and release more singles!
This Vegan Leather article was written by Suzanne Oswald, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Stephen Butchard.